ⓘ Le maschere

                                     

ⓘ Le maschere

Le maschere is an opera in a Prologue and three acts by Pietro Mascagni to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica.

The work was Mascagnis homage to Rossini and to the Italian opera buffa and commedia dellarte traditions. It was premiered simultaneously in six Italian opera houses on 17 January 1901: La Scala ; the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa; the Teatro Regio in Turin; the Teatro Costanzi in Rome; La Fenice in Venice; and the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona. Two days later, it premiered at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples.

Apart from the performance in Rome, conducted by Mascagni himself and later in the first run by his pupil Roberto Moranzoni, Le maschere received a dismal reception, with the performance in Genoa suspended halfway through because of the audiences vociferous expressions of displeasure. The opera was sporadically performed in Italy over the next four years and then sank into obscurity. When Mascagni revised and represented the opera in 1931 it met with little lasting success. However, sporadic revivals in the late 20th century have been greeted with some critical interest.

                                     

1. Synopsis

In the Prologue, a travelling commedia dellarte troupe and their impresario present the characters they are about to play. The remaining three acts are the play itself wherein after many vicissitudes, Florindo and Rosaura, aided by Columbina and Arlecchino, manage to prevent the marriage which Rosauras father, Pantalone, had planned for her.

                                     

2. Recordings

Mascagni: Le Maschere. Conductor: Gianluigi Gelmetti. Ricordi / Fonit Cetra RFCD 2004

Mascagni: Le Maschere Conductor Bruno Bartoletti. Trieste, 1961. Gala GL 100.731